Indonesia Launches Nation-Wide Program to Turn Palm Oil into ‘Green’ Commodity

Oct 3, 2014

Jakarta, October 3 2014 – Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, on Friday launched a nation-wide program to improve the livelihoods of smallholder producers while improving the environment related to palm oil expansion.

The Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) officially launched the Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative (SPOI) national platform, to support low-income palm oil farmers to increase productivity and improve environmental management.

Indonesian Agriculture Minister Suswono said that strong coordination among related institutions/agencies is very important to achieve its targets. This platform is a coordination and discussion forum to gather input and opinion related to the development of oil palm estates particularly  oil palm smallholder estates that are sustainable. These stakeholder meetings will be transparant to discuss existing government regulations and strengthen future regulations, and also to strengthen and promote ISPO requirements.

UNDP Indonesia Country Director, Beate Trankmann said the SPOI national platform is needed to balance expansion and economic potential of palm oil with the need to maintain healthy ecosystems and communities.

“We need to ensure that the three planks  of development, economic growth, economic and social development and environmental sustainability are pursued simultaneously. We believe that the palm oil sector in Indonesia if managed sustainably has the potential to do precisely that,” said  Trankmann

In 2013, the total plantation area for palm oil production in Indonesia was estimated to account for approximately 10 million hectares generating 27 million tons of palm oil. Indonesia aims to double its current palm oil production to 40 million tons by 2020.

Estimates on how much land this will require vary widely, ranging from 5-10 million additional hectares. This expansion will use the Other Utilization Area (APL, Areal Penggunaan Lain) which are not forests.

While the palm oil industry has contributed substantially to job creation and the growth of Indonesia’s economy, there are concerns that, if not properly managed, it can also lead to environmental hazards such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity and rising greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, small-scale palm oil farmers often lack the capacity, knowledge and resources to adopt sustainable production practices and gain meaningful livelihoods.

Declarations of industry leaders at the recent climate summit in New York show that palm oil producing companies are committed to enhancing food security while reducing deforestation in their supply chains. To help translate these commitments into action, changes in Indonesia’s forestry and concession policies will be required.

The platform aims to bring together key players, including the private sector, to comply with the sustainable production of the commodity. One of the world’s largest Indonesian palm oil companies is now close to striking a deal to support the platform.

The SPOI national platform will also promote the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil system with the international community. ISPO is a mandatory national sustainable palm oil certification scheme.

SPOI is a five-year project working at the national level and also in three pilot provinces (Riau, South Sumatra, and West Kalimantan). 

 

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Contact information

UNDP Indonesia

Tomoyuki Uno, Programme Officer Environment Unit, UNDP, Indonesia;

Tel.: +62 (21) 314 1308 ext. 203; Email: tomoyuki.uno@undp.org

Tomi Soetjipto, UNDP Indonesia Spokesperson

Tel; +62 921) 314 1308 ext 179; Email: suryo.tomi@undp.rg

 

Ministry of Agriculture

Herdradjat Natawidjaja, Director of Perennial Crops, Directorate General of Estate Crops

Tel.: +62 (21) 782 7903

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